Science, Fiction, Friends and Formidable Minds
There was a guy with a bullhorn directing the crowd headed toward the Jacob Javits Center, endlessly repeating: “Ticket holders, green entrance! Picking up tickets, yellow entrance!” He noticed me among the throng—I’m easy to notice in a crowd, as would be Lurch or Chewbacca.
Actually, come to think of it, those two probably wouldn’t stand out much in that crowd. Anyway, he noticed me, and through the bullhorn blasted, “Good morning, Mr. Shooter!”
My welcome to NY Comic Con 2011. : )
Inside, I met up with Brian David Johnson and his right-hand man Joe Zawadsky.
Mike Hobson, Publisher of Marvel Comics for much of my time there, always used to joke that the title he really wanted was “High Plenipotentiary of Tunis.” Even if he had that title, I suspect he’d be jealous when he heard Brian’s title.
Brian is scary smart. One of those people who is conversant-with-often-expert-on any subject you raise. “Brian,” of course, is spelled with the same letters as “Brain.” Coincidence? I think not.
At noon, Brian, Craig Engler, who is a SyFy Channel honcho, Cory Doctorow—yes, that, Cory Doctorow—and I were scheduled to do a panel discussion entitled “Screen Future: Gaming, Comics and TV Around the World and Five Years From Now.”
First, Brian and I took a walk around the con floor. A little of it. Too much territory to explore unless you had two weeks and Sacagawea with you. It was early, 10 AM-ish, so the aisles hadn’t gotten impassibly crowded yet. We saw some cool stuff. Brian led me to a stand where the exhibitor was selling Star Wars posters painted in a WWII propaganda poster style. Beautiful. Unbelievable. Princess Leia never looked so good.
We ran across brilliant artist “Buzz” Aldrin Aw, legendary Herb Trimpe, super Superboxers
creator Ron Wilson, Hall-of Famer Chris Claremont and the estimable Bob McLeod. Later, we ran into Dave Ryan (War of the Independents
), Gary M. Miller ( www.delusionalhonesty.com
) and artist David Hillman, who worked for me way back at VALIANT.
Time came to do the panel. The room, two days forced march from the con floor, had about 190 seats, but it was SRO. Joe Zawadsky counted the house—of course he did—because that’s the kind of hairpin he is. 230, he said. Some people, daunted by the crowd (and no open seats) turned away.
Panel-mate Craig Engler is Senior V.P. and GM of SciFi Digital and Tweets the latest about the channel at @syfy. He’s a heavy-duty media maven.
Cory Doctorow is Cory Doctorow, famous SF author, Internet visionary, champion of free sharing and filesharing. His musings available, just in case you are the last person on Earth not to know, at www.boingboing.com
Brian moderated and contributed some insights. Couldn’t stop himself. Biological law says natural abilities must be used.
I wedged in edgewise a few thoughts and made jokes.
JayJay the Blog Elf and her significant other, Freddy recorded the panel. Check out the video tomorrow.
After the panel, Brian, Cory, JayJay, Freddy and I went to the Intel “booth.” More like a small city….
Brian is the author of Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction and a fascinating novel with deep roots in real science, Nebulous Mechanisms. He also is the mind behind The Tomorrow Project Anthology, a unique book of stories similarly built on a scientific foundation including works by Cory Doctorow, will.i.am, Douglass Rushkoff and Brian himself.
Acquire these books. Read them. They will open your mind. Or explode your brain. Either way, fresh air will come rushing in….
Intel was giving away copies of the latter two books! Intel was giving away a lot of things, everything from pens to super-processors that cost big bucks. Nobody walked away empty handed.
The economic downturn apparently hasn’t affected Intel because they’re global and they’re that good. Their prosperity shows. They had the biggest booth with the most going on. It was packed, always. Music, an outstanding MC/Host on the mic all the time directing the festivities, of which there were many…. Want to take a simulated spin in a Formula One car? Play all manner of games? What the Hell are Angry Birds anyway? Kidding. I know, I know, they’re pissed off parakeets and disgruntled ducks.
Brian and Cory had a one hour autograph session, signing free books. Intel support troops had to cap the line.
JayJay, Freddy and I got to sit in the turret atop the center structure of the Intel booth with a magnificent view of the con floor while Brian and Cory signed.
Then, Brian and I went off to the W Hotel at Union Square to meet a friend of his, Andrew Hessel, MSc. “MSc,” or “Magister Scientiae.” Loosely translated from the Canadian, I think, it means “Really Smart About Science Stuff.”
We talked about what was, what is, and what could be. They blinded me with science. I could barely keep up, and I’m good at that stuff. It helped that they’re good at explaining things in English, rather than Magister Scientiae-speak.
We had dinner at a good steakhouse nearby, Angelo & Maxie’s.
I have a story brewing. Not going to let all that great intel…heh, heh…go to waste. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Unbelievable day. I slept like an exhausted toddler after a day at Disneyland.
NEXT: Guaranteed, Next Time for Sure, ULTIMATE COMICS – All-New Spider-Man #1 Dissected and Analyzed. No, really!
Thanks, Craig. It was great meeting you. You obviously have tremendous knowledge and insight about where the content-providing biz is headed. I wish our little panel would have had some time to hoist a root beer someplace and talk, just us kids. Maybe next time. Be well.
Gary M. Miller
A true pleasure meeting you, Jim (JayJay too!), and hearing you speak at the panel. A highlight of the weekend, for sure!
~G., exhausted after the flight westward!
Dear Jim – Sounds like a great time. Hope it yielded some great results for future projects. Did you get a chance to ask Mike R about posting the Doctor Spektor script for us to look at?
Those books sound fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
Dear MikeAnon – "No, that's not the most embarrassing gaffe I've ever made. Try asking a recently-pregnant woman, "Having another so soon?" " haha – I very nearly did this myself fairly recently, but, luckily for me, someone else remarked before I could, thus saving me.
It was great to meet you Jim and a true pleasure to be on the panel with you. I hope our paths cross again! – Craig
Not on subject but I just read the first half of the just released Magnus Robot Fighter trade and I must say it is nice to have new stories from the Valiant/Gold Key line. I'm even more sad about Dark Horse deciding to not continue the license. Here's my question/comment to you Jim. Instead of having to worry about licensing fees, I think it's time for Jim Shooter to do a creator owned book. It doesn't have to be through Dark Horse, I'm sure there would be a lot of publishers that would love to put it out. I'm challenging you to give me a reason to buy new comics again.
The villain in Seven reminds me of Chasm. I finally got a couple of copies. Tough book to get. I never really understood why.
I saw the Star Wars posters Jim mentioned, and they're gorgeous. If anyone's interested, they're the last three here: http://www.antlucia.com/gallery2.html
On Sunday, while in the giant crowd walking up 11th to the Javits, I found I was walking behind Chris Claremont himself! My first thought was to mention that I heard he once passed out in his potatoes from being pooped post-Paris, but decided not to. 🙂
The story of SEVEN is in the queue. Thanks.
[MikeAnon:] Jim, I saw you in person for the first (and only, so far) time at NYCC 2007 — you may recall an idiot with a camera who asked to take a picture of you and your "wife," much to your girlfriend's amusement — and at the time you were doing a new comic book called "Seven."
If you haven't already, could you please throw this item in the queue of stories to be told?
P.S.: No, that's not the most embarrassing gaffe I've ever made. Try asking a recently-pregnant woman, "Having another so soon?" [–MikeAnon]
I'd loved to have seen that. I like tech stuff. Luckily I work around it, but we deal more power conversion stuff. I've seen that the parent company does invest in nanotechnology, but that's not what we do. I get to see peeks at technology on the horizon, but not quite in the same scope as what Intel does.
NYCC still seems to be more about comics than most big shows. The Springcon in Minneapolis is wonderful, and Brian says the con in Portland Oregon every year is great that way.
RE: Angry Birds: Enraged egrets…perturbed pelicans…ticked-off titmice…what in the name of wet hens is going on here? : )
I signed a few books while walking around with Brian, but no official signing.
Who needs to dress up? : )
I enjoyed the panel. It was interesting as all get out. I also managed to snag a free copy of the Tomorrow Project Anthology at the Intel booth, and it's been a good read so far. I just wish I had something for you to sign once the panel ended.
Wow, that Andrew Hessel sure puts meaning to those words, "publish, or perish." Heh.
I'd probably add, "audience, what audience?"
Hey, New York looked good. Hopefully, all the mixing will matter. Onward.
Ultimate Spider-Man can wait. More than worth the delay for this report from a participant. (But I do hope you cover #1 rather than #2.)
I noticed you revealed no details about the panel. Good. Keeps me in suspense for the video.
I've been reluctant to go to comic conventions because they seem to be less about comics these days, but this is the one convention I wish I had attended.
I'm going to look up everyone you mentioned. My professional specialty is language history, not future science, so I've got a lot of reading to do. Thanks for the links and recommendations. At least I know who Cory Doctorow is. Still haven't played Angry Birds, though …
You didn't have an autograph session of your own?
Fingers crossed for your new story.
"I slept like an exhausted toddler after a day at Disneyland."
New ideas make us young again.
PS: You just got four comments in four minutes (3:17-3:21 PM) — a record?
You look very dignified in that first pic, Jim. Maybe just a little bit bad-ass too. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed yourself at the NYCC.
I haven't been to a Comic book convention since childhood. In my early teens, my parents vacationed a couple of years (around 76/77) in San Diego and both those times dumped me off for the day at the con. One year I sat by the pool and had a personal talk with Mel Blanc (who was on crutches because of some horse riding accident) for almost an hour with him doing voices and songs for me. Then the other year joined a small crowd in a hall grilling Stan The Man about subjects like Howard the Duck and Man Thing. These are the types of experiences that would be no longer possible at one of these cons. I do get the feeling I could get a couple of minutes with Jim Shooter at a modern con though.
Jim… I ask this question just based on your height and that it's October, but did you ever dress up as Frankenstein for Halloween?
Great stuff Jim, glad you had a blast, you deserve it.
What I really want to know is, when can I look forward to new Jim Shooter comics? Preferably your own line where you can all the shots and make a new universe come to life.